Online opinion

Is good grammar still important?

- I'm interested in what other people think (about grammar). We have a couple of Chomskyites here and some who insist that language is always evolving.


- Is it not a matter of priorities? Which is more important when language is used: effective expression of meaning or grammatical conventions?


- A bit of both, no? I see the two as being interlinked - many conventions have developed either because we need a standard everyone understands or because they are inherently clearer.


- I was under the impression that effective expression of meaning was best achieved through the correct adherence to grammatical conventions. I say that as someone who messes up grammar daily.


- The trouble comes when the standard becomes a priority in its own right. We've all seen posters criticising someone's use of grammar and ignoring the point they were making.


- Accuracy is important. We all make errors but educated people should follow fundamental grammatical conventions.


- You need to know the rules of grammar before you can play around with them. A bit like abstract painting - Picasso messed about with the rules of drawing, painting and perspective, but he mastered the rules first. He was a brilliant draughtsman.


- Grammar is inherent in spoken language and children learn it as they learn to speak. Children brought up bilingual master two different grammar structures early in life.

Geoff Thomas


Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you